Monday, August 06, 2007


1. My husband works with the world's largest high school service organization, Key Club, as his avocation

2. He planned a retreat in a 3-story cabin out of town for students in the local club

2. I love being with my husband

3. I love being with the high-schoolers and getting to know them

4. I love being with the other adults and getting to know them better than before

5. Seeing my husband interact with these students and teach them leadership skills, as well as model the Christian walk, is an amazing experience

6. Going to the mountains is fun

7. Spending 12 hours in a warm building with non-working air conditioning is character-building

8. Getting the air conditioning fixed by 10 a.m. on a blazing-hot August Saturday is a great relief

9. Participating in non-threatening question sessions is funny, poignant, and embarrassing
Examples: What was your most embarrassing moment?
What's your favorite book?
What was your happiest moment thus far?
What's your favorite movie?
What person, living or dead, would you most want to meet, and why?

10. Grocery-shopping for the retreat with my husband is a hoot

11. Watching the kids, with their eyes closed, try to escape from our hand-held rope "corral" makes me laugh

12. When you're hungry, nothing tastes like cold Crystal Lite and a fresh tomato turkey sandwich

13. Hiding scavenger hunt envelopes with business owners or clerks or hostesses refines my people skills--My hat's off to the Harley Davidson store, the parking lot at the intersection of 321 and that other highway (up the hill), the Gatlinburg Hard Rock, Aunt Mahalia's Candies, the Pepper Palace, and Ripley's Aquarium for hanging onto the envelopes and joining in the spirit of the hunt!

14. Walking the streets of Gatlinburg while hiding clues keeps me fit and burns off those two Oreos, a peanut butter cup, and the sausage biscuit (among other things) I scarf over the weekend

15. Writing scavenger hunt clues challenges my poetic skills

16. When I'm finished with the hunt prep, hanging out in an air-conditioned bookstore (and making a few purchases for the family) is an unbeatable perk

17. Eating dinner with our group of 10 at Applebee's brings out new zaniness in the kids as they practice fake-slapping one another and one girl acts (convincingly) as if she's stung and crying

18. Watching the weekend's object lessons sink in with the kids gives me a magical feeling
Example: When they were corraled by the rope, held up by the other adults, my husband instructed them to close their eyes and try to find a way out. The rules--they couldn't go over or under or overpower anyone to get out, and they couldn't look. If they needed help, they were to raise their hands. My husband kept talking to them the entire time, repeating these instructions. When only one student was left inside, he stopped the exercise. He explained to them that in life, as in their Key Club experience, we all need to ask for help and often. Some students were quick to catch on to the trick. When they asked for help, an adult would lift the rope and pull them outside the boundaries of the rope.

19. Before and after the retreat began, I enjoyed dining out alone with my husband

20. The feeling of having an impact on the lives of others is priceless